2009 UTHSC Survive and Thrive Event

I had the enormous pleasure of being invited to volunteer Reiki services at the annual Survive and Thrive Retreat hosted by the UTHSC Cancer Therapy Research Center. This year, the 2 ½ day event was held in Kerrville Texas at the YO Ranch and Convention Center. Festivities began on Friday evening and commenced on Sunday afternoon. This was the first time I had ever been to this event, but two of the other Reiki volunteers had been at previous Survive and Thrive conferences. The other volunteer is a Cancer survivor herself, and we had the pleasure of listening to her Native American flute playing and Sound and Energy Vibrational Therapy throughout our Reiki sessions, and her flute playing was featured at the closing Prayer Ceremonial Service on Sunday morning. There were about 60 participants and 40 volunteers at the event.
Many of the people that made appointments to have Reiki had experienced Reiki at the other events, but several people had never had Reiki before, so it was good to be able to educate and promote the benefits of Reiki as a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Several of the participants recognized the other two Reiki practitioners, as they had worked on them in the past, and it was nice for all of those people to see each other again. All in all, we had about 40 people make appointments during the weekend.
This, of course, is the factual presentation of the Conference. But there is an intense emotional and intangible side to working with these Cancer patients and survivors, regardless of where they are in their stage of healing, as well as their families and friends who came to provide support. The emotional bonds that are forged between the patient and the health care providers who have been with these individuals throughout their entire healing process is remarkable to experience, and is so deep that it is almost indescribable. This group of people, many who had been coming to these events for years, had become an extended family: pleased, grateful, and happy to see each other and to be able to rejoice in their struggles and triumphs. Many have different Religious and Spiritual beliefs, but as one of the participants said, there are more similarities than differences. Attending this event was personally very moving to me and I look forward to participating in other events.

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